Volunteer 1887

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Volunteer 1887 Expand

See this new half hull of the Volunteer. America's Cup Defender in 1887.

Designed by Edward Burgess.

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$295.00

Volunteer, a centerboard compromise sloop, was designed by Edward Burgess and built by Pusey & JonesShipbuilding Company at Wilmington, Delaware in 1887 for owner General Charles J. Paine of the New York Yacht Club.

Volunteer was the first America's Cup yacht with an all steel frame and hull. Her deck was made of white pine.

Career

Volunteer easily beat the 1886 America's Cup defender Mayflower during the defender trials for the 1887 America's Cup and won both Cup races on September 27 and 30, 1887, against ThistleVolunteer was skippered by Captain Hank Haff with the assistance of Captains Terry, Berry and L. Jeffreys.

Soon after the Cup races, Volunteer was bought by John Malcolm Forbes (who also owned Puritan) and was altered as a schooner in 1891. It was broken up at a New York junkyard in 1910.

From wikipedia.

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Volunteer 1887

Volunteer 1887

With over 2000 hulls built, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff’s 1914 design for a “Buzzards Bay Boys Boat” – the Herreshoff 12 ½ – has been in production for 113 years and is likely the most popular small yacht ever. Versions include a fiberglass redesign – the Bullseye, from Cape Cod Shipbuilding; exact fiberglass replicas like William Harding’s Doughdish, and Joel White’s Haven 12 ½ – a centerboard design built to sail shallower water. Uncounted copies from custom wooden boat builders also testify to its appeal.

 

With a 12 ½ foot waterline, the H 12 ½ is16 feet long. Proposed as a children’s training boat, it handled the choppy seas and brisk breezes of Massachusetts’ Buzzards Bay with an easy motion and a comforting sense of security. The design is informed by Captain Nat’s critical, innovative eye and long experience building trophy winning sailing yachts. By 1914 he was in his mid-sixties and drawing some of his best-loved designs – the Buzzards Bay 25s, Newport 29s and his own Alerion. Instead of rule-stretching high speed sleds his pen now drew human sized, sweet-sailing and uncomplicated boats that spoke of his deep appreciation for the arts of sailing and naval design.

 

Herreshoff gave the H 12 ½ a short ballast keel for stability and a deep, spacious cockpit to carry multiple kids and/or adults. Sold initially with a gaff and later with a Marconi rig, the sail area is small enough to be handily managed by a boy or girl – steel biceps not required. In experienced hands, however, the rig is big enough to slip along with a bit of a bone in her teeth. Adults have been known to downsize from trophy yacht to H 12 ½ just to relish casual sunset sailing into their golden years. It’s ironic that no one alive sailed on Captain Nat’s masterpiece, Reliance – a brilliantly engineered, extreme racer – but thousands have memories of sailing his “children’s” boat.

 

Particularly popular in Southern New England, H 12 ½ s are found all along North America’s Atlantic coast. In some families they’re handed down through generations, and rarely is one in need of repair not rescued and relaunched. Surprisingly, they have also traveled quite far afield: they sail in Norway, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and many countries far from Bristol, RI. The H 12 ½ truly has a hull shape and history for the ages.

Jeff Silva

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